Twitter co-founder Ev Williams to step down from the company’s board


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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Ev Williams, a co-founder of Twitter and the social media business’s former chief executive officer, is stepping down from its board of directors effective at the end of the month, according to documents submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, first reported by CNBC.

In a series of tweets, Williams addressed the news.

“I’m very lucky to have served on the board for 12 years (ever since there was a board),” he wrote. “It’s been overwhelmingly interesting, educational—and, at times, challenging… Thank you, and for starting this crazy company with me—and continuing to make it better and better. And to my fellow board members, new and old—some of the most thoughtful people I’ve ever known.”

Williams, the founder and CEO of online publishing platform Medium and co-founder and partner at Obvious Ventures, served as Twitter’s chief executive from

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The Future of Web Q&A Panels Should be Cake


This post is by Louis Gray from louisgray.com


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Last week, Recode’s veteran tech reporter Kara Swisher visibly held an aggressive interview with Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who has been on something of a meandering press tour over the last few months, which has led to more questions than it’s seemingly answered, as he has avoided specifics, and not taken full responsibility for many of the negative impacts the platform he created has spawned.

Despite Kara’s noble attempts, this round didn’t fare much better, largely due to Twitter’s failing as a medium for such a debate. The #KaraJack hashtag, expected to be the core space for her serves and his returns, with a fair share of unforced errors, was difficult to follow in real time, with Twitter’s poor design getting as much visibility as the discussion itself. Taylor Lorenz of the Atlantic called it impossible.

Twitter was not designed for this, and barring dramatic

Continue reading “The Future of Web Q&A Panels Should be Cake”

Twitter names first international markets to get checks on political advertisers


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


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Twitter has announced it’s expanding checks on political advertisers outside the U.S. to also cover Australia, India and all the member states of the European Union.

This means anyone wanting to run political ads on its platform in those regions will first need to go through its certification process to prove their identity and certify a local location via a verification letter process.

Enforcement of the policies will kick in in the three regions on March 11, Twitter said today in a blog post. “Political advertisers must apply now for certification and go through the every step of the process,” it warns.

The company’s ad guidelines, which were updated last year, are intended to make it harder for foreign entities to target elections by adding a requirement that political advertisers self-identify and certify they’re locally based.

A Twitter spokeswoman told us that advertiser identity requirements include providing a copy of a

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Even years later, Twitter doesn’t delete your direct messages


This post is by Zack Whittaker from TechCrunch


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When does “delete” really mean delete? Not always or even at all if you’re Twitter .

Twitter retains direct messages for years, including messages you and others have deleted, but also data sent to and from accounts that have been deactivated and suspended, according to security researcher Karan Saini.

Saini found years-old messages found in a file from an archive of his data obtained through the website from accounts that were no longer on Twitter. He also filed a similar bug, found a year earlier but not disclosed until now, that allowed him to use a since-deprecated API to retrieve direct messages even after a message was deleted from both the sender and the recipient — though, the bug wasn’t able to retrieve messages from suspended accounts.

Saini told TechCrunch that he had “concerns” that the data was retained by Twitter for so long.

Direct messages once let users to “unsend”

Continue reading “Even years later, Twitter doesn’t delete your direct messages”

Twitter considering a tweet ‘clarifying’ function


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


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Clarification hasn’t always been Twitter’s strong suit. Fittingly, there’s a bit of confusion around the longstanding suggestion that the service could add an “edit” button in order to save users from silly typos and, well, much, much worse.

At a Goldman Sachs event this week, Jack Dorsey clarified that, rather than adding a controversial edit function, Twitter might just let people “clarify” earlier statements. The feature, it seems, is less aimed at the typo part of the equation than the whole ongoing thing with people living to regret some horrible thing they said to the world years prior.

“The other thing that we’re seeing more broadly within the culture right now in this particular moment is people quote-unquote ‘being cancelled’ because of past things that they’ve said on Twitter or various other places in social media,” the executive said in quote reported by Recode. “There’s no credible way to kind

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Manipulating an Indian politician’s tweets is worryingly easy to do


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Here’s a concerning story from India, where the upcoming election is putting the use of social media in the spotlight.

While the Indian government is putting Facebook, Google and other companies under pressure to prevent their digital platforms from being used for election manipulation, a journalist has demonstrated just how easy it is to control the social media messages that published by government ministers.

Pon Radhakrishnan, India’s minister of state for finance and shipping, published a series of puzzling tweets today after Pratik Sinha, a co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, accessed a Google document of prepared statements and tinkered with the content.

Among the statements tweeted out, Radhakrishnan said Prime Minister Modi’s government had failed the middle classes and not made development on improving the country’s general welfare. Sinha’s edits also led to the official BJP Assam Pradesh account proclaiming that the Prime Minister had destroyed all villages and

Continue reading “Manipulating an Indian politician’s tweets is worryingly easy to do”

No, your tweets aren’t awful. Twitter’s Likes are currently borked.


This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch


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If you have been experiencing issues with the Like or Retweet count on Twitter and are desperately seeking validation, here it is: yes, it’s Twitter, not you (probably). The company confirmed today that it is working on a fix for a problem with notifications that’s been messing with Like counts.

Many users around the world have reported seeing the number of Likes on their tweets fluctuate continuously, making them wonder if accounts were being suspended in mass or if Twitter was deleting them.

KonMari Your Twitter Feed With This Tool


This post is by Nick Douglas from Lifehacker


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I can’t possibly want to follow almost 4,000 people on Twitter. If I followed fewer people, my timeline would be less chaotic and anxiety-inducing. But I have a hard time unfollowing! That’s why I test so many different tools for just this function. And right now, the Marie Kondo-themed tool Tokimeki Unfollow is…

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How to Find Websites That Won’t Give Out Your Private Information


This post is by Josh Ocampo from Lifehacker


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These days, our private information is up for grabs and going to the highest bidders. Collectors are targeting us with advertisements in our inboxes and social media accounts. Worse, websites like Facebook clearly affect lives on and off our computers and phones (about that 2016 election..).

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This Marie Kondo-inspired Twitter tool will help you declutter your timeline so it again ‘sparks joy’


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Does your Twitter timeline spark joy? If you’re like most people, probably not. Over the years, you probably politely followed back a few too many Twitter accounts, and now have a timeline filled with all sorts of random tweets from people you can’t even remember following in the first place. A new Twitter tool, Tokimeki Unfollow, may help.

Designed by Julius Tarng, previously of Facebook and Branch, “tokimeki” roughly translates to “spark joy.” It’s a nod to Tarng’s source of inspiration for the new tool – Marie Kondo’s hugely popular Netflix show “Tidying Up.” The series, based on the decluttering expert’s own KonMari method of organization, has prompted many to start purging their homes of unwanted and unloved clothing, books, papers, toys, and more in the weeks following the series’ debut.

So why not take the idea to Twitter?

After all, if anything is a source

Continue reading “This Marie Kondo-inspired Twitter tool will help you declutter your timeline so it again ‘sparks joy’”

Ritual raises $25M for its subscription-based women’s daily vitamin


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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In the era of #spirtual and #physical #wellness, everything needs to be Instagrammable, even dietary supplements.

Ritual, a subscription-based service that charges customers $30 per month for shipments of its women’s daily or prenatal vitamins, has effectively tapped into that Instagram crowd. The company admits its social media strategy has been key to harnessing a cult following of wellness enthusiasts. Since it was founded in 2015, the business has sold 1 million bottles of vitamins; today, it’s announcing a $25 million Series B funding led by Lisa Wu at Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from Kirsten Green at Forerunner Ventures and Brian Singerman at Founders Fund.

Wu, as part of the round, will join Ritual’s board of directors.

“We were the first to market in our space to have really built a direct-to-consumer brand in the vitamin supplement industry,” founder and chief executive officer Katerina Schneider told TechCrunch. “For us,

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Periscope’s latest feature turns your broadcast into a radio talk show


This post is by Lucas Matney from TechCrunch


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When it comes to live streaming, the viewer contributions are pretty light. In Periscope, you can drop a comment of leave a floating heart icon, but there isn’t a deep way to contribute to a stream. Today, Twitter is rolling out a change to Periscope that hands broadcast viewers the microphone, allowing a video stream to bring audio-only call-ins from the audience.

To answer your first question, yes, Periscope is still around. To answer your second question, the streamer has to hand the microphone over to individual users, it’s not a free-for-all audio call, that would be unimaginably awful.

The feature seems to be a way to bring out deeper interactions with a streamer’s audience. The commenting systems on a lot of these live platforms turn into an indecipherable wall of text for most users even if the streamer is able to keep up with them, therefore the dialogue really

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Online platforms still not clear enough about hate speech takedowns: EC


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


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In its latest monitoring report of a voluntary Code of Conduct on illegal hate speech, which platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube signed up to in Europe back in 2016, the European Commission has said progress is being made on speeding up takedowns but tech firms are still lagging when it comes to providing feedback and transparency around their decisions.

Tech companies are now assessing 89% of flagged content within 24 hours, with 72% of content deemed to be illegal hate speech being removed, according to the Commission — compared to just 40% and 28% respectively when the Code was first launched more than two years ago.

However it said today that platforms still aren’t giving users enough feedback vis-a-vis reports, and has urged more transparency from platforms — pressing for progress “in the coming months”, warning it could still legislate for a pan-EU regulation if it believes it’s necessary.

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Twitter bug makes it look like random retweets are appearing in your timeline


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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A number of Twitter users have been complaining that tweets that were retweeted by people they don’t follow are now showing in their timeline. The issue, thankfully, is not related to a new Twitter algorithm or recommendation system, as some had feared. Instead, the company confirmed that a bug affecting Android users was mislabeling the “social proof” tag on Retweets.

This is the part of the Retweet that tells you who, among the people you already do follow, had retweeted the post in question.

The company says that the social proof label is wrong, so the Android users were seeing tweets that looked like they had been retweeted by someone they don’t know.

How to Deal With Online Hate 


This post is by Nick Douglas from Lifehacker


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Dylan Marron likes to talk to his enemies, until they’re not quite enemies. On his podcast Conversations With People Who Hate Me, Dylan gets on the phone with people who have sent him hate mail, left angry comments, or tweeted nasty things about him. He also moderates conversations between others who have insulted…

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Twitter cuts off API access to follow/unfollow spam dealers


This post is by Josh Constine from TechCrunch


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Notification spam ruins social networks, diluting the real human interaction. Desperate to gain an audience, users pay services to rapidly follow and unfollow tons of people in hopes that some will follow them back. The services can either automate this process or provide tools for users to generate this spam themselves, Earlier this month, a TechCrunch investigation found over two dozen follow-spam companies were paying Instagram to run ads for them. Instagram banned all the services in response an vowed to hunt down similar ones more aggressively.

ManageFlitter’s spammy follow/unfollow tools

Today, Twitter is stepping up its fight against notification spammers. Earlier today, the functionality of three of these services — ManageFlitter, Statusbrew, Crowdfire — ceased to function, as spotted by social media consultant Matt Navarra.

TechCrunch inquired with Twitter about whether it had enforced its policy against those companies. A spokesperson provided this comment: “We have suspended these three

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Facebook, Google and Twitter told to do more to fight fake news ahead of European elections


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


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A first batch of monthly progress reports from tech giants and advertising companies on what they’re doing to help fight online disinformation have been published by the European Commission.

Platforms including Facebook, Google and Twitter signed up to a voluntary EU code of practice on the issue last year.

The first reports cover measures taken by platforms up to December 31, 2018.

The implementation reports are intended to detail progress towards the goal of putting the squeeze on disinformation — such as by proactively identifying and removing fake accounts — but the European Commission has today called for tech firms to intensify their efforts, warning that more needs to be done in the run up to the 2019 European Parliament elections, which take place in May.

The Commission announced a multi-pronged action plan on disinformation two months ago, urging greater co-ordination on the issue between EU Member States and

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When Jack (Dorsey) met Mark (Zuckerberg)


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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No matter what Jack Dorsey (CEO, Twitter) says, he is going to come under criticism. While some of it is justified, but a lot of hyperventilation in the media is because https://www.wired.com/2015/07/how-the-tech-press-forces-a-narrative-on-companies-it-covers/the press is in a compensatory mode. After having championed Facebook, Twitter and others as saviors, a decade later everyone is waking up with a bit of a hangover.

Occasionally, though you come across a piece that is worth your attention, I enjoyed the Rolling Stone interview with Jack, and he was as open as a chief executive of a publicly traded company can be, about himself, his company and well, social media in general.

The article asked (a few) difficult questions, and got some decent answers. Could Rolling Stones magazine be more aggressive in its questioning? Of course, it could be — but remember we are living in the golden age of access journalism. Continue reading “When Jack (Dorsey) met Mark (Zuckerberg)”

Twitter will get an even darker ‘dark mode’


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Twitter’s dark mode is about to get darker. In response to a customer’s complaint that Twitter’s dark theme isn’t really black, but more of a blue-ish shade, company CEO Jack Dorsey replied that’s going to be fixed. Though a seemingly minor tweak, dark mode settings for apps have become increasingly popular as a means of conserving battery life on high-end devices and making the apps we use often for long stretches easier on our eyes.

The interest in dark themes has grown steadily since Twitter first debuted its own “Night mode” back in mid-2016.

A number of apps now support darker themes, including YouTube, Google, Medium, Reddit, Wikipedia, Instapaper, Pocket, IMDb, iBooks, Kindle, Google Maps, Waze, Opera Mini, and many more. It’s even rumored that the upcoming version of the Android OS will have a system-wide dark mode setting – something dark mode users have wanted for years.

This weekend,

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Slack’s product chief is out ahead of direct listing


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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Slack is losing its chief product officer April Underwood ahead of a direct listing expected in 2019. Tamar Yehoshua, a long-time Google vice president, has been tapped to fill Underwood’s shoes as Slack’s new product chief.

Underwood joined Slack, the provider of workplace communication tools, in 2015 as its head of platform after a five-year stint as Twitter’s director of product. She was promoted to the chief product role about 10 months ago. Underwood is also a founding partner of #Angels, an investment collective that pushes to get more women on startup cap tables.

In a Medium post announcing her departure from Slack, Underwood said she planned to focus on investing full time.

“One common story you hear when you talk to founders is that their idea ran as a background process for many years until it moved into the foreground and became a calling too loud to ignore,”

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